I asked folks to “Toss Me a Birth-Related Word” on my Navelgazing Midwife Facebook Page and “Crowning” was the one of the words. Here, I’ll use it as a springboard from which to jump.
When I attended my first birth, when the baby crowned, I thought there was no skull and was horrified. No one else seemed worried, though, so I tried to keep my panic controlled. Then, when the baby came out, the skull magically appeared! I watched closer the next few times, trying to see what the heck that was, the brainy-looking head coming out with crowning. It was the skin of the head smooshed together as well as the molding that happens with the sutures as the baby goes through the pelvis. While molding can hang on for a couple of days, that skull-less image was gone immediately after the head was born.
That feeling was so scary, I can remember it even now. I try to warn new doulas about that so they don’t get weird about it themselves.
Hmmm… maybe in the age of YouTube that doesn’t happen anymore?